The Petronas SRT squad have pulled the covers off their five new bikes for the 2019 season in a launch at the iconic Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, showing off not only the Yamaha MotoGP machines that Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo will campaign but also the Moto2 machine of local rider Khairul Idham Pawi and the Moto3 Hondas of Brit John McPhee and Ayumu Sasaki.
Joined on stage for the launch by the president and CEO of Petronas, one of the world’s largest oil companies, the event shows just how seriously the Malaysian-based team are taking 2019 as they pull out all the stops to challenge in all three classes.
Speaking at the launch, team principal and Sepang Circuit CEO Razlan Razali said: “The launch of the team marks our intention as a serious contender in the new 2019 MotoGP season. It has been an unbelievable journey so far and the excitement continues. This launch is for all Malaysian fans whom have been supporting Malaysian MotoGP since 1991. We have come a long way and evolved to this point because of the success of Malaysia MotoGP.
“The journey so far marked the hard work of the team, Petronas and Yamaha. We worked tirelessly to get everything ready for today and for the first test at the Sepang International Circuit in February. We know there’s a lot more work ahead but today, let's enjoy this team presentation and be proud to what we have achieved so far.”
“I am really happy to be able to present the team and riders today alongside Petronas, and it is a great feeling to show everybody our new colours,” team director Johann Stigefelt added. “I am proud that the riders in all three categories will have the same look, which was the objective for us – that everybody sees us as a united structure. I also want to take the opportunity to thank all of the partners who have made it possible for this project to move forward.
“We will be back to work on track very soon, at our home circuit, the Sepang International Circuit. We will start with the MotoGP riders, who will be able to enjoy their new bikes and new material from Yamaha. We have planned an extensive programme of tests, even though the riders already have a little experience on the Yamaha. The conditions will be demanding at Sepang and we have a lot of work to do, so it will be a big challenge for Franco and Fabio.
“In Moto2 and Moto3 we have planned three days of tests, with new parts to try for the latter and a new bike in the intermediate class. We had a good test at the end of last year with the three riders so we just need to keep working and preparing for the first official test at Jerez at the end of February.”